The Australian Pricing Of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Is Pretty Bad

In Australia we're used to a certain level of mark-up with prices. But when we're being asked to pay twice what the US are being asked to pay, that's a bit much.

Fluctuation in the exchange rate aside, these prices seem incredibly extreme.

In the US, PlayStation 4 owners are paying $19.99 for Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons. In Australia, we're being asked to pay $44.95.

That's probably the largest mark-up I've ever seen.

On Xbox LIVE the situation is slightly better. The US price is $19.99 and the Australian price is $39.95.

We asked Sony locally why the price was so skewed. They informed us that the pricing was a third-party issue. We've taken it up with the local distributor. They have very little to do with the digital distribution of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons but informed us the retail release would be priced at $39.95 when it hits stores on September 3.

We've reached out to 505 Games. Hopefully we'll get a response overnight from 505 Games as to the massive price discrepancy.

Thanks to @KRiSX for the tip!


    But when we’re being asked to pay twice what the US are being asked to pay, that’s a bit much.

    I thought that was the standard.

      Practice actually, not standard. If it were a standard, we'd also have a variety of competing standards (four of which were meant to interoperate the various standards) and retailers would be following the one that costs the most to the consumer, :-P

      Last edited 14/08/15 12:53 pm

    This will never change.

    Why do we pay same price as retail for new games? No answers

    The answer i get in my head is 'because its money left on the table'

      It's mostly so that companies aren't competing with themselves.

      There are still plenty of customers who will only buy from stores. You don't want to piss off your retail partners by undercutting them online or they'll dropyour product and you'll lose all that business.

      Now that it's established practice, though, why wouldn't they keep charging $99 for digital, even as retail dies? Like you said, money on the table.

        The same reason why digital comics are the same price as paper.

      unfortunately the only way to make any difference is to simply not buy it at that price. what other bargaining points do we have?

        yeah and while you would be close to insane to pay that price, other countries around the world are getting it a hell of a lot cheaper, thus paying for it :)

    You could just buy it on Steam for US$15 (less if you wait for a sale). It doesn't need a graphically intensive gaming rig or an xbone or ps4.

    Australian gamers should have learned to buy smart by now, as crappy as the australia tax is, it's not like it is news.

    The retail release will be cheaper than the digital version? Yeah ok, that makes total sense. I give up!

      I find a lot of console games are. You can often get a new release for $10-$20 cheaper at JB HiFi than you can from Xbox Live.

    The hell? It's like US$15 on Steam, US$11.50 through GMG. It's a great game, but no way in hell it's worth $45.

      I got it for free on 360 which just emphasises the stupidity of the pricing here

        I picked it up on a Steam sale for about $3 or something. $45 isn't "pretty bad," it's insane. The game's like 3 hours long.

        Last edited 14/08/15 12:50 pm

          I got it during the summer sale for about this much. People just need to shop smarter!

        The PS3 version was free on PS+ back in the day, too.

        It was pretty good, but I've got no desire to play it again. Especially at that price!

        Last edited 14/08/15 12:53 pm

        It was free on Playstation Plus at some point as well. May have been on PS3 and not PS4 though.

          PS+ inclusion for PS3 was Feb 2014 for Aus, and Dec 2013 for US.
          Source -

      Agreed, I loved it. Got it on Steam for less than $5. $45 is insane.

    There so many examples of this lately on Xbox Live in thinking of starting a website.

    Look at the U.S. Price of GTAV on Xbox One, $USD40, here we're being asked to fork over $99 more than double.

    I think what is happening is that they're converting the GBP price which itself is unfairly converted against the USD

    The thing is - it's never going to be fixed. I can't think of anyone stupid enough to buy digital games at such unreasonably high prices so they mustn't be selling - so how do they justify the markup? If they lowered their margins they might just see some sales

      There so many examples of this lately on Xbox Live in thinking of starting a website.

      Wouldn't if I were you. There are so many examples your Web site (data wise) would out weigh all the porn on the Internet.

      I suspect (with no evidence beyond chatting to less technically savvy friends) that there are plenty of people who own a console and are just used to the store prices.

      You own an Xbox, you get your digital content from the Xbox marketplace. That's just how it is. They never consider looking at other platforms or stores.

        I own an xbox, and I only buy from the marketplace when sales are on. Any xbox owner should know by now that the marketplace is always full retail price. I honestly don't know anyone who buys from that marketplace other then my mates with more money then brains.

        If you want a digital copy though, then you are right, our options are non existent :(

    I just paid for something in US dollars via Paypal, and the exchange rate was 0.70.

    Even using this exorbitantly unfair Paypal-hidden-fee rate as a benchmark, the price for this game in $AU should be around $28.50 (though let's say $30 for Australia-Tax).

    An additional $15 for apparently no reason... that's insane.

    Last edited 14/08/15 12:51 pm

      I think one of the reasons I've heard is that simply having an Australian presence for the publisher is worth an increase in price. Because paying locals and buying our ad space has such a price difference that we have to pay for it on top of whatever the publisher was paying for US ad space and publishing office overheads.

      No reason? It's "Fuck you, you plebs, you'll pay what we say and fucking well WORSHIP US AS GODS!" isn't it? At least that's the impression I've always gotten when you see stuff like modern warfare 2 costing $100 where modern warfare 3 was $50-60 for a good long while. Hell, COD4 is still the same as the combined price of MW2 and 3 but then the campaign is probably as long as 2 & 3 combined as well...

        Tragically you're not far off. I've had this situation explained to me once and the answer to "Why do different regions get charged different prices for the same identical product?" was "Because that's what they're statistically willing to pay for it." It's not because of costs or any other difficulty on the distributor's part. It's pure greed. It's the same reason that a US$25 game is only around US$10 in Russia, because they're statistically not willing to pay as much. If Australian sales of a popular game, for example the next CoD, were to be extremely poor because no one was willing to pay "full retail price" for it, but then suddenly when it was 50% off it started to sell normally then the publisher might decide to reprice their next game in Australia more reasonably.
        We all complain that the "Australia tax" is unfair and that something should be done about it, but the fact is that until we stop buying games as soon as they come out at the full "unreasonable" price there is no pressure for publishers to do anything different. We're only proving them right.

      And the final kick in the teeth? These storefronts are not actually Australian businesses, so the transaction is being carried out behind the scenes in a foreign currency. As of a year or so ago, this means that most banks will charge an additional 2 or 3 percent to pay IN AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS!!

      e.g. I bought N++, Dragon Age and Alien on sale the other week:

      Another rort that I can't believe they're getting away with (though the blame here is shared by the storefront and the banks, really)

        Microsoft did that for a while a few years ago, but it didn't last long.

        I assume you could get around it by buying PSN cards instead of directly from the marketplace (although that's obviously less convenient).

      +GST (although no tax on digital game purchases... YET!!!)

      It's kind of weird, but there doesn't seem to be any standard "exchange rate" for digital games (at least not on Xbox).
      To contrast the ridiculous Brothers example, The Bridge came out today for Xbox One. US$10, and AU$13.45, which is pretty close to your currency conversion.

      The Brothers example is even worse though, when you consider that the Xbox 360 version was only $15 (both in AU$ and US$), and basically nothing has been done to update it. Even the Americans are complaining about the price tag.

      Oh, and both platforms gave away the previous gen versions for free not that long ago.

      Last edited 14/08/15 3:36 pm

      unfair Paypal-hidden-fee rate
      paypal use what they call a 'small money transfer rate', which is a lower rate than the one on the news everyday. it's like banks charging a higher interest than the national interest rate. they are meaningless to us plebs.

    In a strange twist... I could have sworn I saw the game at $19.95 on its first day of release on the Oz PSN store. Then it 'magically' jumped up.

    Don't bother contacting the distributor, you'll be ignored. I've tried the same thing, including through ACCC. No one gives a fuck.

    Last edited 14/08/15 1:02 pm





    And fuck you guys.

    Don't forget that you can make a US account, buy the games and still play them from your AU account!

      Can you? I made a US account to play HM2 on my PS4 and I can't play it on my normal AU account.

        You need to make sure you activate the PS4 as your primary PS4 for your US account, and then you can play the games from other accounts. :)

          Ah, I see! Can you only have one primary account on the console? Or is it tied to PSN account so I can have my PS4 as my primary console for US and AU accounts?

            The limitation is one primary PS4 per account, but you can have multiple accounts with the same primary. :)

    We asked Sony locally why the price was so skewed. They informed us that the pricing was a third-party issue. We’ve taken it up with the local distributor. They have very little to do with the digital distribution of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons but informed us the retail release would be priced at $39.95 when it hits stores on September 3. We’ve reached out to 505 Games. Hopefully we’ll get a response overnight from 505 Games as to the massive price discrepancy.

    How's that song go again? "Hot potato, hot potato!"

    It was free as part of Games with Gold on the Xbox 360 earlier this year!

    Actually they were pretty clear about why they do it when they stood in front of that senate inquiry - "It's what the market will bear."

    In other words, because people keep paying us. You know why software is so cheap in russia? Piracy.

    Just makes it that much easier to not purchase. Is a shame, but I'm sick of paying double for absolutely no logical reason

    I still find it amazing that the distributor gets to set the retail price for digital goods. If this was a physical disk, they're be fined or taken to court. You can't have the distributor setting the retail price, it goes against pretty much everything you need for competition.

    It's bad enough these digital platforms are so locked down there's no competition there, but it just makes matters a whole lot worse when you have the sole distributor setting the price across multiple retail outlets (even though they can't directly compete at times).

    I'd really like to know why this is okay in the digital space, but not okay in the retail space. The silence from the ACCC on this is deafening.

    I remember paying $3 for it on Steam...

    It's a great little game, but it's not worth $40. No way.

    Just another reason to stick with old school disc based buying.... At least with consoles.

    I've found that with console digital game sales, the consumer has next to no power. The publishers or the console company set the prices, then pass the buck around when things like this happen. Console company blames publishers, publishers say its the console company. Digital games rarely go down in price, or at least not as quick as their physical counterparts.

    Also, the problem with digital is that you're buying a license instead of the game. As we've seen with things like PT or even Deadpool, should the company lose the rights to publish or even outright cancel a game, they can remove the game from sale or download even if you've purchased the game. But with a physical medium, you own the game, you can use it as much as you want for as long as you want on as many consoles as you want.

    Just wait for a sale! Unless you are abnormal you should have a backlog varying between a few and an insane number of games that will see you through :-)

    And THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is why we don't give a rats furry behind and keep up the pirating.
    You don't want money left on the table? No worries, we will just keep all of it and download it - for FREE! How's them apples?

    As much as it is easy to give the PSN store (and Xbox Live) a good kicking - and believe me they deserve it for us Aussies - they do have the good sale on here and there where good AAA games from only 6 months ago are trading well below even EB Games second hand pricing of games. I picked up Mass Effect Trilogy just now for PS3 for $22!. I couldn't even find that in stores anymore, apart from second hand discs on EBGames for twice that figure. Like with all things, just don't buy it! Even ITunes is recognising people are finding their stuff expensive, that's why we're seeing ITunes cards now in Safeway being discounted by 20% regularly. It's not going to help things though when the Abbott Government introduces GST on 'overseas purchases' < $1000 - it's going to push up prices for all digital content by 10%.

    Then you should look at the War in the North pricing on steam if you want to see markup lol

    I am used to seeing this shit all the time. I just avoid anything that is so blatantly marked up and will remember to usually not even support it if it goes on sale.

    Take GTAV on Steam. In the States it sells for US$59.99. In good ol' Australia it costs US$74.99. That is nearing AUD$100 for a digital copy of the game. If I go into EB or JB for a PHYSICAL copy of the PC version, it costs LESS than the digital at only $70-$80.

    Glad I already played and finished it when it was free on my 360. If I ever get the need to play it on Playstation I'll play the PS plus free copy...

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